Conrad O'Connor has created a careful regimen to guarantee his social status and not make any waves at his small town high school. However, when an old friend calls him out to the bridge one night, Conrad's routine is forever shaken. As his friend's decision ripples through their community, it becomes the catalyst for a deadly new trend.
The Crowd and the Merrimack is a humorously dark take on your typical young adult or coming of age story. It's a callback to those harsher times we experience, simply wading through the complexities of certain social spheres. For Conrad it is the formative and cruel microcosm that is high school, senior year, and what's beyond it is entirely a mystery.
Conrad is complex, obsessive (nearly compulsive), and comfortable with the status quo of his teenage high school senior life. He is the young person in us that just wants to be the cool kid, accepted by everyone, and somehow understood. Clique loyalty however is more important to Conrad than friendships from his childhood, even though his current friends might not be friends to him at all.
The Crowd and the Merrimack touches on many of the pervasive issues of youth. While stresses of school and family life are one thing, friendships, peers, and social dramas play the largest part in Conrad's life as he knows it. Eventually the realities of love, death, change, and mental illness inundate our protagonist's world and choices have to be made in this coming of age satire.
Would you listen to The Crowd and the Merrimack again? Why?
Yes, I didn't really know what I was getting into, and I think a second read would give deeper insight on the story.
What other book might you compare The Crowd and the Merrimack to and why?
It's hard to compare this to another book... it's very unique in that it's from the viewpoint of a teenager who is naive and still having some experiences for the first time. But the story is mature, and pieces together like a puzzle in the end. I guess I might compare it to Paper Towns, that has a similar narrator, but entirely different story.
What about Eric McMyermick’s performance did you like?
He did a great job showing the emotions of the different characters. It was easy to know who was speaking.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
A Dark New Hampshire Winter
Any additional comments?
Give this book a shot! It was a really interesting read, and quick to get through.
I’ve read THE CROWD AND THE MERRIMACK on paperback and I love the visceral experience of reading a book, but I’m so excited I downloaded the new audiobook! This story really translates well to an audiobook - it has a great flow and the narrator truly enhances the experience. The narrator is an impressive mix of relatable and expressive, his tone and cadence take Ian’s words and adds dimension and depth to them. I would highly recommend downloading the audiobook of THE CROWD AND THE MERRIMACK, even if you’ve read it before!